MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A community gathered in Alexandria Friday night to celebrate the return of a once-missing teenager.
Jasmine Block, 15, was able to swim to safety, after being kidnapped and assaulted for nearly a month.
Friday’s service was held at Living Waters Church in Alexandria. Organizers say the event was used as a way to welcome Block home.
Police say Block was being held by three men in rural Grant County. She was able to escape after they left her alone in a foreclosed property. After swimming across a lake, she flagged down help.
Block’s youth pastor says Friday night’s ceremony shows the strength of the community, and its dedication to helping Block heal.
“We just want to support them. Whatever they need,” youth pastor Kevin Taylor said. “And if this is part of the healing process, I think this is exactly what they needed. So as long as it’s what they need, it’s not hard for the rest of us.”
Block was also given a special gift — a therapy dog, who will be trained to be Block’s companion. Block’s mother says so far, her daughter and the dog have been inseparable.
Thomas Barker, Joshua Holby and Steven Powers all face kidnapping charges in this case.